This article is more than five years old and was last updated in October 2020.
Ouija boards have been a popular part of a séance since Victorian times and while many don’t believe in ouija boards, it’s easy to experience the creepy movement on the board as spirits answer questions and spell out words.
Also known as spirit boards or seance boards, ouija boards are usually wooden, they have the letters of the alphabet marked on them, numbers zero to nine and the words “yes” and “no”. There’s also often a Sun and Moon symbol. They have been used for decades to make contact with the dead.
You can use a ouija board on your own but you may find it hard to get any response from the spirits, so it’s best to find at least one other person to play with, ideally a total of three people.
For the best response from the spirit world take your board to a location which you believe to be haunted or somewhere creepy. The mood is important, it’s best to play in low light or candle light. But not complete darkness as you’ll need to be able to read the board.
You can also set the mood by burning some incense but avoid burning sage as this is believed to drive spirits away. Make sure you’re comfortable, to make contact with a spirit can take time and patience so take a seat around the board.
You’ll need to make sure you’re not distract during the sitting, so turn off the television and any music, put your phone on silent and shut pets and other distractions out of the room.
Next you’ll need to each place one finger on the planchette, this is the pointer which will slide around the board. You should very gently rest your finger on the planchette, so gently in fact that it is barely touching the planchette.
Some people recommend moving the planchette around the board to “warm it up,” while I don’t think that this is the case as the spirit themselves is capable of getting the planchette moving, I think it is good practice to familiarise the spirits as well as the players with the board.
First move the planchette around the board in a clockwise circle, you can do this by sliding the planchette yourself with your finger, this is OK at this stage. Then call out to the spirits, say something like “if there’s anyone here who wishes to make contact, you can talk to us through this board. You can answer our questions with ‘yes’ or ‘no’.” Move the planchette over the “yes” or “no” to demonstrate as you say this.
Then continue, “you can also spell out words,” move the planchette across the alphabet, “using the letters A to Z. There’s also number zero to nine,” and again move the planchette over the numbers. After this move the planchette to the centre of the board, from this point on you should not intentionally move the planchette.
Now it’s time to start a conversation with any spirits which might be present, don’t be sacred to start with a cliche, ask allowed “is there any body there?” If the planchette doesn’t move straight away, don’t give up, sometimes it can take a while for spirits to come through. Ask again “if there’s someone there who wants to communicate with us, can you move the planchette to ‘yes.'”
Keep asking the spirit to show itself in this manner and believe, after a while you should see the planchette move across the board, hopefully towards “yes”. Be sure to follow the movement with your finger. If you ask “is anyone there” and the planchette moves to “no”, then you’ve probably encountered a mischievous spirit.
Encourage the spirit to use the combined energy of all of the players to move the planchette.
Once the planchette starts moving you can start to ask question, it’s best to start with simple questions to establish who you are talking to. Here are some suggested questions:
- How many spirits are present?
- Are you male/female?
- Did you live/work/die here?
- When did you die?
- How old were you when you died?
- What is your name?
Ouija boards can also be used to predict your own future, however this really depends on the specific spirit you’ve made contact with. You can try asking questions about your immediate future or your fate.
While asking questions always be polite, say please and thank the spirit when it answers. All spirits are different, some will move the planchette slowly, others much quicker. Spirits may also come and go during a séance. If the planchette is moving slowly or infrequently, don’t give up. Remain patient and keep the faith.
At the end of the séance it’s advised to close the board by moving the planchette to the word “goodbye”. You should physically slide the planchette across the board to “goodbye”, this will ensure that any spirits that have been called forward won’t follow you after the session.
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